Selective distribution: validity of a refusal to contract opposed by a car manufacturer to a former repairer (Paris Court of Appeal, January 23, 2019, n ° 16/16856).

By a judgment of 23 January 2019, the Paris Court of Appeal ruled that a car manufacturer represented by our firm was entitled to refuse to contract with a former repairer whose contract had been terminated with a two years’ notice since the refusal to contract did not have an anti-competitive object or effect.

The former repairer argued that because he fulfilled the qualitative standards of selection, he had to be approved again. This argument is rejected. The car manufacturer does not infringe the competition rules by not contracting with him. The manufacturer simply did not want to renew a partnership which did not satisfy him. The Court adds that, regarding competition on the car aftermarket, refusing to contract with a repairer candidate cannot have an effect on the market.

The car manufacturer has therefore not committed any anti-competitive practice.

It must therefore be understood from this judgment that a manufacturer may not have to contract again with a former repairer whose contract was terminated with a two years’ notice even if he fulfills the qualitative standards of selection (Arrêt Mazda CA Paris 19.01.23).